Assessments were started on what needs to be done to lift force majeure and restart exports from oil crescent ports in Libya as soon as possible, according to Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC).“We welcome statements from the Libyan National Army allied with House of Representatives and the president of the HoR, Aguila Saleh, that the ports should be placed under NOC’s control,” said NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla.He added that the production could be increased to 600,000 b/d within four weeks and to 950,000 b/d by the end of the year from the current production capacity of around 290,000 b/d.However, this is dependent on receiving essential funds from the budget and on the oil crescent ports and the closed pipelines in the southwest being opened and kept open, Sanalla said.According to Daily Mail, the country’s fourth oil port of Brega was seized by forces opposed to Libya’s unity government on Tuesday, after they took control of oil terminals at Ras Lanuf, Es Sidra and Zueitina a few days earlier.Although political space has opened in Libya and there is progress in the fight against terrorism, the political divisions underpinning the North African country’s conflict are deepening, a United Nations envoy warned.Drawing attention to the challenging security situation, further illustrated by the most recent violence in the country’s Oil Crescent area, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, Martin Kobler, called for an immediate cessation of hostilities to prevent any damage to the country’s oil industry, its only source of income.“Libyan natural resources belong to all Libyans,” he said, adding that they “must be protected and exported legally under the authority of the Presidency Council (PC).”In August, NOC called on rival armed groups to avoid destroying the oil port of Zueitina and secure safe passage of vessels to the terminal.Under an agreement signed in July 2016, the Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) and the Government of National Accord (GNA) agreed to reopen the country’s three oil ports, Ras Lanuf, Zueitina, and Es Sidra, that PFG has been blockading due to a pay dispute.World Maritime News Staff
zoom Four of Hanjin Shipping’s 4,275 TEU containerships were sold to South Korean company Korea Marine Transport Co (KMTC) for a price of USD 22.4 million, according to data provided by VesselsValue.The 2008-built Panamaxes, which were sold through a bank sale, are the Hanjin Durban, Hanjin Norfolk, Hanjin Piraeus and Hanjin Rio de Janeiro.Featuring a length of 260 meters and a width of 32 meters, the vessels, built by South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries Co, fetched a price tag of USD 5.6 million each.VesselsValue data shows that each of the boxships has a market value of around USD 5.3 million.The sale comes only days after Dutch media reported that three 13,000 TEU Hanjin containerships were sold at an auction in Rotterdam for a total of USD 392 million.The 2012- and 2013- built Hanjin Europe, Hanjin Africa and Hanjin Harmony were reportedly sold on behalf of the German HSH Nordbank.Another Hanjin ship, the Hanjin Gold, is expected to be auctioned off by a Rotterdam court in January 2017.World Maritime News Staff
zoom Marshall Islands owner of dry bulkers Eagle Bulk has managed to cut its loss in the first quarter of 2017 having reported USD 11.1 million loss, bouncing back from a loss of USD 39.2 million posted in the same period last year.Adjusted EBITDA, which Eagle believes is one of the key metrics to measure operating performance, was USD 4.6 million for the first quarter of 2017, against USD -14.4 million a year ago.Net time and voyage charter revenues were USD 45.9 million also up when compared with last year’s USD 21.3 million. The increase in revenue was assigned to higher time charter rates in Q1 2017 as well as an increase in available days due to chartered in vessels.The company said that its fleet utilization increased from 98.4% to 99.3% due to better vessel performance and lower off hire days.“During the first quarter, Eagle finalized the acquisition of 9 Crown-63 Ultramax dry bulk sister vessels – a transaction that will significantly increase our operating scale and provide meaningful exposure to the Ultramax segment. In total over the past year, we have acquired 11 modern Ultramax vessels as part of our fleet renewal and growth strategy which, in conjunction with the continued build-out of our active operator business model and charter-in fleet, is beginning to drive increased revenue. Importantly, these developments are occurring against the backdrop of continued improvement in the dry bulk market itself with respect to both trade demand and vessel supply fundamentals,” Gary Vogel, Eagle Bulk’s CEO, commented.“Looking ahead, we are increasingly optimistic concerning Eagle’s enviable positioning within the dry bulk market, as well as our ability to generate value for all stakeholders.”Since the beginning of the year the company took delivery of three vessels, the MV Singapore Eagle along with MV Mystic Eagle and the MV Southport Eagle, the first two of the nine vessels acquired from Greenship Bulk.At the end of the quarter, the company’s cash totaled USD 145.8 million, with total liquidity standing at USD 170.8 million.
zoom During a panel debate hosted by The Mission to Seafarers at Nor-Shipping event, leaders in seafarer welfare concluded that higher level of transparency is needed to improve human rights in the shipping industry.An expert panel, made up of representatives from the RAFTO Foundation, the Institute for Human Rights and Business, Norwegian OECD NCP, and Human Rights at Sea, came together to discuss the challenges associated with tackling the very real risk of modern slavery in the shipping industry, and strategies for its elimination.“The key agreement from the debate was that the shipping industry needs to increase levels of transparency when it comes to human rights,” Ben Bailey, Assistant Director of Advocacy at The Mission to Seafarers, said.Introduced in 2006, the Maritime Labour Convention has been guaranteeing seafarers the right to decent work conditions, however, seafarers can be vulnerable to exploitation and abuse when working in isolated conditions.“The term ‘human rights’ is notably absent from instruments such as the Maritime Labour Convention, leaving space for exploitative practices to be carried out by less scrupulous members of our industry,” Bailey said.Increased cross-industry collaboration and closer work with NGOs “would allow the shipping industry to create and enforce policies which reduce bonded labour, and ensure the industry is a safe and attractive career option for seafarers globally,” according to Bailey.
zoom The US Coast Guard Marine Safety Center (MSC) has received its eighth application for Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) type approval.The application was submitted by South Korea-based BWMS manufacturer Techcross for the Electro-Cleen System on October 31.As explained, the MSC will review the application for compliance with US Coast Guard regulations in 46 CFR 162.060. Once it has been determined that the application meets the requirements, the MSC will issue a type approval certificate.So far, BWMS type approvals have been granted to six companies including Optimarin, Alfa Laval, TeamTec Ocean Saver AS, Sunrui, Ecochlor and Erma First.Apart from Techcross, Samsung Heavy Industries is also waiting for the approval of its Purimar BWMS, MSC’s data shows.USCG MSC has also issued an updated type approval certificate to Optimarin for the company’s Optimarin OBS/OBS Ex Ballast Water Management System. As explained, the updated certificate was issued to authorize the OBS Ex model for installation in hazardous locations on US vessels, based on demonstrated compliance with 46 CFR 111.105.
zoom The consolidation drive in the container shipping sector through mergers and acquisitions is likely to slow down in 2018, according to online freight forwarder iContainers.Instead, this is likely to pivot to freight forwarders, where the industry can expect to see an increase in M&A talks.“In terms of carriers, I doubt we will see any more movements in the near future. I don’t see any major players breaking right now. Any acquisitions that were to take place now would be a purely strategic move, or if an opportunity presents itself for one of the bigger carriers to buy up a younger one,” Klaus Lysdal, Vice President of Sales & Operations at iContainers, said.Amid a prolonged market downturn, many carriers resorted to forming alliances and setting agreements on slot purchases. These allowed them to gain cost-effectiveness by combining their resources without risking further debt. Such movements have had its effects trickle down to shippers, the online freight forwarder added.The latest M&A round saw Japanese carriers NYK, MOL and K Line merge their containership business within the Ocean Network Express (ONE), scheduled to start operations on April 1, 2018.Creation of ONE came on the back of M&A deals involving CMA CGM and APL, Cosco and CSCL, Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd, and Hapag-Lloyd with UASC.“We’ve seen so many consolidation activities that there are now a lot fewer options for shippers to choose from and less flexibility with the number of carriers so dramatically reduced,” Lysdal explained.“But on the other hand, the good thing that has come out of all of this is some very much-needed rate increases to make the industry healthier overall.”SeaIntelligence Consulting’s CEO, Lars Jensen, agrees with the projection, adding that despite some aspirations for further mergers competition authorities are likely to block them.“Long term, Hyundai and Yang Ming are not going to be viable in their present states. They’re too large to become niche carriers and too small to become super carriers. They will transform or disappear in some way, shape, or form. Yang Ming is likely to be absorbed into Evergreen, even though Evergreen hates the idea. Hyundai will persist as long as the Korean government wants to subsidize them,” Jensen adds.According to Jensen, the shift may be moving down the line to the smaller carriers, where hundreds of small and medium-sized carriers will be starting to stir and probably where the consolidation game will ramp up over the coming years.“The capacity operated by these carriers has skyrocketed. And it’s not because they were operating more ships. It’s because they were redelivering smaller charter vessels and taking larger ones on. There’s no way they can all fill the ships that way. So there will be a consolidation with these small and medium-sized carriers.”Lysdal believes freight forwarders may also be mimicking the move and engaging in their own M&A activity for strategic growth purposes, with mid- and large-ranged forwarders acquiring tech-savvy companies as a shortcut into the digital market.“I think we will see that the top players will be watching and observing from the sidelines for a while. Once they see someone really make a breakthrough, that’s when they make their move.”
zoomImage Courtesy: Stena Line Stena Line’s Stena Jutlandica has successfully completed its first month of operation as a battery hybrid vessel. The project, aimed at converting the ferry to be able to run on electrical power, is part of Stena Line’s efforts to find ways of reducing its impact on the environment, as explained by Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability at Stena Line.“As both the size and cost of batteries decrease, battery operation is becoming a very attractive alternative to traditional fuel for shipping since emissions should be possible to completely eliminate in the future,” Lewenhaupt said.The project involving Stena Jutlandica, which operates on the Gothenburg-Frederikshavn route, is being carried out in steps.Step one, which is presently underway, is about switching to electrical operation to reduce the use of diesel generators, as well as for maneuvering and powering the bow thrusters when the ship is in port.In the second step, battery power will be connected to two of the four primary machines, which means that the Stena Jutlandica will be able to run on electrical power for about 10 nautical miles inside the Gothenburg archipelago out to Vinga Lighthouse.In step three, all four primary machines will be connected to the batteries and the ship will be able to cover the 50 nautical miles between Sweden and Denmark solely on electrical power.As informed, positive effects have already been noted after just one month.“As an example, we’ve been able to strongly reduce our use of the diesel generators and now only need to use one instead of three. Another positive effect concerns safety; by having constant access to electricity, we minimize the risk for power outages,” Johan Stranne, Senior Chief Engineer on the Stena Jutlandica, said.Only in step one, the environmental savings from using battery power for reduced generator usage and maneuvering in port amounts to about 500 tons of fuel, 1,500 tons of CO2. This in turn corresponds to the annual emissions from approximately 600 cars.The reason for execution in multiple steps is to enable testing and assessment while the project is underway. If the project is successful, battery power can be considered for other vessels within the Stena Line fleet. Work with step two has begun and the goal is for implementation within about three years, according to Stena Line.The technical solutions in the first step have been developed by Stena Teknik in collaboration with the Callenberg Technology Group, with half of the funding for the project coming from the Swedish Transport Administration and the EU.